Jaitley takes up cudgels for Urjit

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday termed former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh’s adverse comments against Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel as an “unfair attack”.

“An unfair attack by Jairam Ramesh on the RBI Governor [Urjit Patel]. Must politicians attack those who can’t defend themselves in the same tone?” Mr. Jaitley said in a tweet.

In an article in the newly revived Congress mouthpiece National Herald, Mr. Ramesh alleged that the Central bank had been kept in the dark by the government about its demonetisation move.

“Urjit Patel is either guilty of misleading the nation about the RBI’s preparedness on demonetisation or has sacrificed the autonomy of the RBI. Either way, he should resign,” Mr. Ramesh had said.

“The RBI is the monetary authority of India and is solely responsible for making bank notes available to all residents of India. If the RBI headed by Mr. Patel gave its approval to the Prime Minister’s demonetisation plan, then ostensibly the RBI was confident of making currency notes available easily,” he said.

Questioning the RBI Governor’s “stoic silence” through the entire currency crisis of the last two weeks, Mr. Ramesh said the Central bank was supposed to be independent and autonomous and therefore needed to offer clarity about the current situation.

“How can the head of the RBI that is solely responsible for the current currency crisis not be seen clarifying and assuring the nation amid this grave crisis?” he questioned.

Stout defence

This is not the first time Mr. Jaitley has sprung to Mr. Patel’s defence. On Thursday, in response to a question from The Hindu on Mr. Patel’s rather low profile during the demonetisation process he had said, “People in public offices perform, in terms of action and policy, and are not to be judged by how often they appear in front of the camera.”

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 12:02:20 AM |

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